UN peacekeepers in blue berets in a line

New Attitudes to Peacekeeping Operations in ASEAN

Tuesday 1st December 2015; 11.00 – 12.30; Room 9.05, Tower 2 (TW2)
Speaker: Dr David Capie; Chair: Dr Jurgen Haacke

This talk explores evolving attitudes towards peacekeeping among Southeast Asian states. Despite the region’s enormous diversity, almost all of ASEAN’s members are showing a greater interest in supporting peacekeeping operations. This includes long time and substantial contributors to UN missions such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, a group of smaller contributing nations (Thailand, Brunei and Singapore) and two emerging players (Cambodia and Vietnam). As of November 2015, only Myanmar and Laos have not participated in any UN peacekeeping missions.

What explains this apparent convergence? Drawing on extensive interviews, this paper discusses the changing place of peacekeeping in national foreign and defence policies across Southeast Asia. It offers some explanations for the growing interest in peacekeeping and considers how Southeast Asian states are likely to contribute to PKOs in future. In addition to changing national perspectives, the paper also discusses the place of peacekeeping as a focus for multilateral cooperation in the region and weighs the prospects for an ASEAN Peacekeeping Force.



David Capie is Associate Professor of International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.



Jurgen Haacke is Associate of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre and Associate Professor in International Relations at LSE.